Where is the Lord God of Elijah?
But where is the God of Elijah, while the trade with heaven by our prayers is so very low? Alas for the dead, cold and flat prayers, that so often come from our lips in our day!
Among the elders who have through faith obtained a good report, there is none more remarkable than Elijah the Tishbite. He was a person altogether extraordinary. In his exercises and experiences he was especially distinguished. His experiences have been powerful encouragements to the people of God down through the ages – and Elijah’s God still lives. The consideration of God’s presence with His people in former days should bring succeeding generations to the same God, seeking for the same experiences. I shall instance a few of the experiences of this holy man:
GOD KEPT HIM SPIRITUALLY ALIVE IN DEAD DAYS
1) The God of Elijah gave him the sweet experience of keeping him spiritually warm and lively in a very cold and dead generation. His zeal for God burnt most vigorously when the people around him were halting between God and Baal. When there was nothing but deadness on every hand, the Spirit of life kept him alive.
But where is the Lord God of Elijah in these dregs of time? I will tell you of a sad experience that is common in our day and it is the fulfilling of the scripture, Matt. 24:12, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” It is a time when atheism and immorality are making prodigious advances, and practical godliness is under deep decay. I doubt if Satan ever had more hands at work to overthrow and remove the foundations of real religion than at this day. This effort of Satan against the church is coupled with a most lamentable decay in vital, practical and sincere religion amongst those who profess to be followers of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In consequence when we are exposed to Satan’s furious attacks, we are lacking the best piece of armour against it; that is, an experience and personal feeling of the power of truth in our own souls.
GOD ENABLED HIM TO EXPERIENCE THE POWER OF PRAYER
2) The god of Elijah gave him a sweet experience of the power of prayer. By his prayers the bottles of heaven were opened, the key of the clouds turned and the bands of death were loosed. Many times the Lord’s people, when closed in on every side, have found sweet relief when their souls have flown upwards in prayer. The prayers of the saints have been the great ordinance of the church. They have frustrated the plans of enemies and turned them back upon their own heads.
But where is the God of Elijah, while the trade with heaven by our prayers is so very low? Alas for the dead, cold and flat prayers, that so often come from our lips in our day! So weak and languishing that they cannot reach heaven. Long ease has made us lose our tongue, though natural abilities may help some to pray like angels, while they live like devils.
GOD REMARKABLY PROVIDED FOR HIS SERVANT
3) Another experience was the fruits of dependence on the Lord and of a little food going far with God’s blessing, I Kings 17:16, “And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord.” Elijah saw so very few who were for God in his day, that he thought he was alone; but the Lord strengthened his faith by these experiences.
But where is the God of Elijah in this day, when what we have seems to be blown upon, so that it goes in effect to nothing? Our tables are plentifully covered, yet our souls for the most part are starved; our goodness sometimes looks like a morning cloud and promises a hearty shower, but so quickly proves to be a little cloud like unto a man’s hand, which disappears to nothing. “Where is the God of Elijah?”
GOD GAVE HIS SERVANT GREAT COURAGE.
4) Another experience of Elijah was a gracious boldness in the face of the most daring wickedness. This eminently appeared in his re-encounter with Ahab, and his standing alone against four hundred and fifty of Baal’s prophets. Whatever was his natural temper, he owed this to the grace of God, for when he was left to his natural courage it failed him. I Kings 19.
But where is the God of Elijah now, when the iniquities of our day meet with such faint resistance? Where is the real concern for the cause of God, when a tongue to speak for Him and a heart to act, are so much wanting? The wicked world pursue their evil cause boldly, but alas! the people of God shame their honourable cause and profession by their cowardice.
GOD ANSWERED HIS PRAYERS WITH FIRE FROM HEAVEN
5) Yet another experience of Elijah was a glorious and powerful manifestation in a solemn ordinance, even at the sacrifice on Mount Carmel, which was ushered in with the spirit of prayer. Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the dust and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord He is God, The Lord He is God.”
But where is the God of Elijah today when so little of the Holy Spirit’s influences are found in our ordinances, even the solemn ordinances? Here is the mantle, but where is the God of Elijah? Here are the grave clothes in which the Lord was wrapped, but where is He Himself? Enemies have surrounded the Church of Christ and brought her very low, even to the brow of the hill, ready to cast her over. Where is the God of Elijah who alone can make a way of escape?[A number of the classic works of Thomas Boston have been published by the Banner of Truth]
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